INTERNET users in Taunton will benefit from superfast broadband speeds after Somerset County Council won a government grant.

Taunton Deane Council this week welcomed the project and said it would provide a tremendous economic boost to the borough.

Somerset will share £31million of funding with Devon as part of a national campaign to speed up internet connection.

The bid, which secured the largest grant in the country, was fully supported by Taunton Deane.

Leader of Taunton Deane Council Cllr John Williams said: “I applaud the county council for their initiative in taking this forward and the Government for recognising the need in our diverse rural area and for providing substantial funding.

“For many years it has been a high priority to bring high quality broadband to Taunton Deane.”

Cllr Williams said that superfast broadband connection would benefit the economy and environmental sustainability of communities.

He added: “I hope that many hundreds of jobs will be created through the opportunities that it will create for business to flourish in areas previously restricted by geography.”

Somerset County Council is investing a further £10million into the project and plans to attract private sector investment to boost the spending pot.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffer painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all.

“We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age.”